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The Energy and Commerce Committee has approved H.R.2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), by a vote of 33 to 25.

The legislation establishes a national renewable electricity standard of 20% by 2020. Utilities would be required to obtain 15% of their electricity from renewable resources and 5% from energy efficiency. It also establishes a cap-and-trade program and calls for a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020 and an 83% reduction by 2050.

"With this plan, we will shape a new energy destiny for our country, where we innovate more and pollute less," says Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., co-sponsor of the bill. "Today we have chosen bold action to preserve good-paying jobs here in America and preserve our planet."

The ACES legislation has four titles:

- a clean energy title that promotes renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;

- an energy efficiency title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation and industry;

- a global warming title that places limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants, cutting global warming pollution by 17% compared to 2005 levels in 2020, by 42% in 2030 and by 83% in 2050 - science-based targets and within the range agreed to by U.S. Climate Action Partnership; and

- a title that protects U.S. consumers and industry, and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.

SOURCE: U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee

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